Get Out and VOTE!

While it is not a Presidential election year, the voting that will be conducted across our nation tomorrow is just as important as electing a President. From the amount of candidate advertising flooding our television and radio stations, newspapers, and mail boxes, you know this is an important election year.

Here in Iowa we will be voting to elect a new Senator to represent us in Washington, DC as Senator Harkin is retiring. With Senators being elected every 6 years, this is our chance for a fresh start for Senate representation for Iowa. For years, our votes in the Senate have always cancelled each other out. This is our chance to change that. Joni Ernst would work well beside Senator Grassley, who has visited us here at Stellar Industries numerous times.

We also have a chance to vote on our Federal Representative for our area. Steve King currently represents our district in Iowa. Mr King visited Stellar a couple years ago. Being a former contractor, Mr. King was very impressed with the products we produce.

The Governor’s office is also up for election this year. Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds, who both visited Stellar Industries, Inc. this summer, are up for re-election.

On a more local basis, we have a relative of one of our co-workers running for public office. For State Representative, Terry Baxter is running for the open seat to represent Hancock and Wright Counties. Terry is the father of our Jonathan Baxter who has been part of the American Eagle production team for a number of years. I’m sure Jon would appreciate all our support for his father in tomorrow’s election!

Both political parties have put forth good candidates for the open seats. As voters, it is critical that we “do our homework” to determine which candidates will benefit us the most as ESOP owners of Stellar Industries, Inc. The Iowa Association of Business and Industry has once again sponsored a web resource that will assist voters in researching the candidate that deserves our vote. The Iowa Prosperity Project provides such a resource at http://www.iavotes.com .

Bottom line is it is important for us as American citizens to exercise our right to vote. The State of Iowa has made it very easy for us to exercise this right. Even if you have recently moved and have not yet re-registered to vote in your new precinct, Iowa allows same-day voter registration. This means you can cast a ballot tomorrow even if you haven’t yet registered. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Please get out there and VOTE!

Proposed Energy Tax Reform Would Harm the Economy and Iowa Businesses

In Hancock County,  we work hard to take care of our families and our neighbors in an effort to prosper in our little corner of the world.  And although we do not work in close relation to our legislators in Washington D.C., the decisions made there ultimately affect everyone and national-scale issues and proposals have the potential to drastically alter our local economy. For example, the energy tax reform proposed by the President’s Administration that seeks to raise taxes solely on our domestic energy producers, will affect Iowa immensely.

Higher taxes on Iowa’s natural gas and oil producers would mean local economies, like ours, would be faced with higher fuel prices and potential job loss. Many small businesses, such as Stellar Industries, would be hit with drastically higher operating costs as a consequence of these taxes.

In Iowa alone, nearly 65,000 jobs are supported by our domestic energy industry. At Stellar, over 250 of our jobs rely on Iowa’s natural gas and oil partners’ support; many of which would be directly impacted if these taxes become law. Not only is affordable energy critical to the operations of our factories, but domestic gas and oil producers are key consumers of the products we design and build here in Garner.

I urge our lawmakers to pay attention to this issue as it has the potential to impact every Iowan. I hope they will support our local economies and stand up against raising taxes on our domestic energy producers.  I also urge you to help make a little noise by reaching out to your representatives and tell that this is an important issue to you, your community and our economy.  Tell them to fight against higher taxes and support local business.  With all our our voices – together we will be heard.

Celebrate Memorial Day

It’s hard to believe that Memorial Weekend is upon us.  It wasn’t long ago we were still staring at the cold, white snow wondering if Mother Nature would ever let us enjoy Spring.   It’s nice to finally know that the weekend that traditionally kicks off summer is finally here and hopefully we can enjoy all that it has in store for us, including graduation celebrations, barbeques, parades and parties.

But Memorial Day isn’t just about the start of the summer season and graduation parties.  The true meaning behind this weekend is so much more.  It is a time for us to stop and reflect.  It’s a time to honor all the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.   It’s a time for all of us to pay homage to those who have fought so hard to protect this country and our freedoms.

Memorial Day was originally know as Decoration Day to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War, and has since transitioned into a day we remember all that have died serving.  So before you fire up your barbeque this weekend, take a moment to reflect and remember all those people who have paid the ultimate price for us to have our freedoms.  Visit your area cemeteries and take the time to decorate the graves of those who have served this country, honor the fallen.

In honor of the brave men and women who have given their lives for this country…. Celebrate Memorial Day.

Annual Shareholder Meeting Later This Month

Stellar Industries, Inc. will be holding our Annual Shareholders meeting on April 24. This meeting will be held at our Stellar corporate offices at 190 State Street in Garner at 4:00pm. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm. All shareholders and Stellar ESOP participants are welcome to attend.

This meeting will be quite different than annual meetings of the past. In November of last year, the Stellar ESOP released a tender offer to purchase shares from stockholders. Many of these shareholders had been early investors in Stellar Industries. The tender offer was very successful for our ESOP. As a result of the tender, the Stellar ESOP was able to increase their percentage ownership of our company from under 27% to just over 40%.

Stellar Industries prides itself on the skilled workforce we are blessed to have throughout our organization. With increased ownership of the corporation, Stellar employees through their ESOP shares will continue to positively impact the future growth and profitablity of their company by continuing to design and build the most innovative and highest quality products for their respective markets.

2014 Work Truck Show

The National Truck Equipment Association Work Truck Show will once again be held in Indianapolis the first week of March. The Work Truck Show is a very important event for us at Stellar Industries, as it offers us the opportunity to meet and visit with many of our present and future distributors and suppliers in one very busy week.

The NTEA has been an important trade association for Stellar Industries since our company was formed in 1990. Without the NTEA, gathering data on how to interface with the various truck manufacturers truck chassis, confirming road regulations from the various states and provinces, or knowing the type and placement of lights on a truck body would be much more difficult processes. The Work Truck Show not only offers a chance for us to meet our selling partners, but it also provides us with the opportunity to renew our knowledge on important changes that impact our industry through the many educational seminars that are offered during the Work Truck Show.

The 2014 edition of the Work Truck Show provides another reason for all companies of the truck equipment industry to attend. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Truck Equipment Association. In the fifty years since the founding of the NTEA, our industry has experienced many changes. Some companies that were once leaders in their market segment are now gone, while new organizations have arisen to take their place. The one constant that has been with our industry all these years has been the NTEA.

Congratulations to the NTEA and the Work Truck Show on fifty successful years of guiding our industry!